Thursday 11 August 2022

Ireland's network of FamilySearch Affiliate Librairies grows to 13

Before this summer, there were only two Family Search Affiliate Libraries in Ireland: Dublin City Library & Archive in Pearse Street, and Central Library in Waterford City's Lady Lane.

As we approach the end of the season, we have a cool thirteen, with all ten branches of Fingal Libraries, plus the Local Studies & Archive in Swords, having received Affiliate status. Library card holders are now able to access nearly all databases from branch computers. No charge. No fuss.

The difference between accessing from your personal device and searching via an Affiliate Library terminal is that you can access to a portion of FamilySearch's digitised microfilms that researchers cannot view via regular Internet access.

The FamilySearch wiki suggests the Affiliate computer will give you up to an additional 400 million records. So, if your regular computer is showing the camera icon with a key symbol above it alongside the name of the collection you want to search, you probably need to visit an affiliate library. Check with the library before travelling, though, as it's possible access to that particular collection may be available only at a Family History Center (FHC).

IrishGenealogyNews spoke to Amy Hanley about the new arrangements at Fingal Libraries. She says the process was really very simple. Once the local authority had agreed that all the branches within the area would benefit from Affiliate status, a specific terminal at each location had to be identified and its static IP addresses shared with FamilySearch. Then the formal contract was drawn up and signed, and that was it. There were no costs to the local authority. As Amy noted, Affiliate libraries don't have all the services of an FHC. However, they can help bridge most of the gap. Additionally, Fingal Libraries have much longer and more convenient hours of opening compared with the nearest FHC at Glasnevin is open only on mid-week-mornings.

Affiliate libraries also receive a monthly e-newsletter subscription for reference staff to stay abreast of what’s new and the latest tips and tricks for supporting family history patrons.

FamilySearch's listing and world map of FHCs and Affiliate Libraries have still to be updated with the 11 latest additions to the network. In the meantime, you'll find addresses and contact details for the Fingal Libraries branches here, and details for the Local Studies & Archives here.

(Currently, there are only three FHCs in the Republic of Ireland: Cork, Glasnevin and Limerick. In Northern Ireland there are four: Belfast, Coleraine, LondonDerry and Portadown.)

Many historical record collections accompanied in the catalogue by a
camera-with-key icon are available to view at a FamilySearch Affiliate Library